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Twitter Deaf

© January 2009 Anthony Lawrence

I've been thinking about this for a while, but this morning's post over at Men With Pens tipped me over the edge: I'm no longer going to follow anyone who follows too many people.

Why? Because you are "Twitter deaf" if you follow more than a few hundred people. Even that many may be too many - right now I'll be un-following if you follow more than 300 people, but I may cut that back even more - we'll see how it goes.

I think it's simple to understand: if you are following that many people, you can't really "hear" me. If I'm following too many, I can't "hear" you - we're both Twitter deaf.

I started this morning un-following manually. I had 189 people when I started and I cut out 28 that way, but I need to write a program to automate the process.. I think that will be my project for today!

Destroying Twitter Friendships with twitterdeaf.pl

I cut my Twitter following list down to less than 50 people by un-following people who are TwitterDeaf. It's wonderful!

Got something to add? Send me email.

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Wed Jan 21 13:36:08 2009: 5214   NickBarron

Makes sense to me.

But then what would I know, I don't use twitter facebook myspace beebo etc etc etc. But you're logic is sound.

Wed Jan 21 17:25:13 2009: 5217   BrettLegree

I can see your point for sure. As I said at MwP, I have a custom group in Tweetdeck for the "can't miss" folks (you're in there too).

I wonder sometimes if that shouldn't be my follow list.

Wed Jan 21 17:50:47 2009: 5218   TonyLawrence

I stupidly forgot about Twitters 100 api calls per hour so overran my limit testing my script - now I have to wait an hour to test it again :-)

Wed Jan 21 18:52:25 2009: 5219   Leo

I have to agree. Personally, if you are following twitterheads that are making 10 tweets a day, the number should be much lower. (that is 500 messages a day you have to dig through!)

There are some days that I don't even bother looking at tweets because it is really nothing more than a huge time waster.

I do understand the idea behind following and collecting "friends" though. I just don't agree that it really does much.

Tue Mar 3 22:37:29 2009: 5595   MarkGuadalupe

I think I might follow your tip and do the same thing, its just that I hate it when I checked manually who is not following me, so I might pick carefully who am I going to follow and un-follow, cheers.

Sat Aug 22 05:11:30 2009: 6782   anonymous

I expected this page to be about people who breach twitter-etiquite. It might be better to unfollow people based on the total tweets per day of the people they follow. A person who follows fifty tweet-happy twits could get more per day than someone who follows 500 'normal' people.

If the API tracked whether tweets were read or not, and the percentage of tweets read vs unread by a particular twit, that would also be a better indicator of their Tweet-deafness, or excess of free time.

Sat Aug 22 10:00:37 2009: 6783   TonyLawrence

That's certainly true - my cutoffs are crude and arbitrary.

Still, if you are "following" thousands of people, you can't possibly be paying any attention to many of them.

Sun Feb 6 19:59:49 2011: 9281   anonymous


If your site is attracting too many passengers, then get rid of them, most are just collectors and playing some obscure number game of who has the most friends or something. we need a crap isolator application at Twitter get rid of the pests.


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